Monday brought furloughs, anxiety for thousands of local military families

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Congress voted to pass a bi-partisan effort on Monday evening to re-open the federal government after being partially shutdown since Saturday.

Earlier in the day, thousands of local military families wondered how the shutdown would affect their household bottom line.

WSAV learned that of the estimated 4,500 civilian employees at Hunter Army Airfield and Ft. Stewart, a “majority” were handed furlough forms on Monday morning, meaning they couldn’t come in to work until a solution had been reached in Washington.

There are currently around 20,000 active duty troops stationed at both bases. Those men and women were required to report for duty and would accrue payment, but wouldn’t be paid until a resolution passed.

One of those is Capt. Danielle Covington. Covington serves as a Public Affairs Officer for the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade. Since she is considered active duty, she reported to work on Monday.

“Even though we may not be paid, it’s our duty to be here at work today,” she said. “Not saying this is what we signed up for, not to be paid, I just think this is part of who we are, protecting our civilian counterparts is just part of what we do.”

Both bases assigned positions that were considered necessary personal who were able to report to work and accrue payment that would be paid out at a later date once a solution was passed.

Until her co-workers were able to return, Covington says she and others had to put on their “big-boy pants” and make the most of a short-staffed situation.

“These are folks we come to work with, they may not be in uniform but they are part of the family they work side by side with us and it was hard, you know, when they’re coming back,” she said. “We just don’t know.”


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